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Overwhelm matters. It's easy to dismiss and incredibly debilitating.

overwhelm Mar 17, 2024
It's not you. It's overwhelm.

Overwhelm matters. It's easy to dismiss and incredibly debilitating.

You have a successful life but it's really hard to hold it all together.

You push your poor mind to think through overwhelm, your body to function through exhaustion, skidding into every weekend as if you’ve won a survival game.


Why? Why would smart, well-educated people who are really good at looking out for other people, treat themselves this way?


Not because you’re stupid.

Not because you don’t know that self-care and stress management matter.


So why then?


The damage is clear:


  • the feelings of insanity when you’ve pushed yourself too far yet again. 
  • The emotional volcanic eruptions at home (never at work, which is interesting).
  • The sheer mind-numbing exhaustion
  • Unexplained complaints from your body
  • Despair from your heart as you question whether this is the life you intended to create


So what’s going on?




It’s not you - it’s overwhelm.


There’s nothing wrong with you.

You do not want too much.

And you can have the life you worked hard for.

But you’re going to have to do things differently.


Overwhelm is normal and inevitable. It’s how the human mind has been designed to keep you safe. It’s part of the emergency nervous system to stop you googling what to do in a life-threatening situation. There’s a time to pause and consider your options, and there’s a time for fighting, fleeing or freezing. Overwhelm is just a part of that. Pre-frontal cortex offline. No considering. No googling for information. Just reacting.


Great system - you are descended from humans with highly reactive nervous systems. Brilliant you. Now it’s time to learn how to work with that system so you can enjoy the safety you have worked so hard to create.


It’s time to use overwhelm as a course correction out of survival mode into gently rebellious thriving. 


Why make this change in a gently rebellious way? Because you don’t want to make huge serious changes that alert your amygdala and set off the high alert system even more - you want to do this in a way that bypasses your amygdala and reduces your overwhelm.


I have lots of ways to do this so you can find a way that works for you. For now, I’d like to invite you to just notice what’s going on for you.


Notice how overwhelmed you feel and the effects this has on:


  • Your mind - focus; ease of getting the things that matter done versus procrastination 
  • Your body - patterns of held tension; ability to switch off and laugh easily
  • Your heart - how full it feels; how connected you feel - to yourself, to others, to a sense of purpose 


Then NEUTRALLY notice - notice the judgements about what you notice - the shoulds, oughts and musts. 


It’s all just useful information to gain the freedom you seek.


Next week, we’ll talk about what to do with your discoveries.


Thanks for reading.


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